REDMOND, Wash. -- May 11, 2005 -- Microsoft Corp. will demonstrate how it continues to raise the standard for computer gaming next week as Games for Windows® offers even more ways to play at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2005, the interactive entertainment industry's largest trade show. The Games for Windows booth will feature Microsoft's universal gaming controller and more than two dozen titles from the hottest publishers in the industry, including games that won't be seen anywhere else on the show floor. A testament to the endless innovations available on the Microsoft® Windows platform, the booth will be located at the South Hall, Booth 1068 in the Los Angeles Convention Center.
"This year, we've expanded the Games for Windows booth to fit in titles from even more publishing partners, with games that run the gamut from the casual to the hard-core," said Dean Lester, general manager of Windows Graphics and Gaming Technologies at Microsoft. "From the mass appeal of titles such as 'Bratz' and 'The Movies' to the range of gameplay between 'Battlefield 2' and 'Age of Empires® III,' Windows delivers more innovation, more variety and more ways to play."
Microsoft Universal Gaming Controller
For the first time, at this year's E3 Microsoft will reveal a prototype of the universal gaming controller. Designed for use on Windows-based PCs and the next-generation Xbox® console, the controller will allow gamers to enjoy a consistent playing experience across Microsoft's gaming platforms.
"The universal gaming controller will provide a Windows controller standard that helps game developers bring different genres -- such as racing, sports and action/adventure -- to the Windows platform more easily," said Chris Donahue, group manager of Windows Graphics and Gaming Technologies at Microsoft. "Gamers will have more playing options with a familiar, versatile and well-designed gamepad-style controller."
MotoGP Grip and Go Showdown
E3 attendees will race to win Alienware laptops signed by Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates in this year's MotoGP Grip and Go Showdown. The competition promises to be fierce for the best daily score in "MotoGP URT 3," the smash hit from THQ Inc. and Climax. Prizes will be awarded daily at 5 p.m. (except on Friday, May 20, when they will be awarded at 4 p.m.) in the Games for Windows booth.
Windows "gaming gods" will be on hand to greet fans throughout the show and talk about their new creations. On Wednesday, May 18, at 2 p.m., real-time strategy kings Bruce Shelley ("Age of Empires") and Brian Reynolds ("Rise of Nations®") will mingle with fans and sign autographs. On Thursday, May 19, at 2 p.m., role-playing game (RPG) masters Chris Taylor ("Dungeon Siege") and Brad McQuaid (co-creator of "EverQuest" and upcoming massively multiplayer online RPG, "Vanguard") will regale fans with tales from the dungeon as they sign autographs.
Windows Game Advisor
To be unveiled at this year's E3, the Windows Game Advisor 3.0 will add something new: a little bit of attitude. By popular demand, the Game Advisor now lets gamers rate their favorite games and find out what others think about the more than 300 games listed. A powerful Web-based tool, the Game Advisor sorts through a variety of genres and age-group choices to present the best matches for gamers of all levels, and determines if a game will run on the user's computer with one click. It is available at http://www.windowsgaming.com.
Games for Windows Booth-Exclusive Titles
This year the Games for Windows booth will have titles from leading publishers such as Electronic Arts Inc., Ubisoft Entertainment and THQ. Games that will only be found in the Windows booth include "Age of Empires III," "Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends," "Half-Life 2: Lost Coast" and "Dungeon Siege II." "Catan Online," the MSN® Games online subscription version of the award-winning "The Settlers of Catan" board game, is also a Games for Windows booth-exclusive title.
The Games for Windows booth is expected to feature the following exclusive games:
- "Age of Empires III," Microsoft Game Studios, 2005, rating pending.* "Age of Empires III" is the latest installment in the award-winning and best-selling "Age of Empires" series. It continues Ensemble Studio's stellar track record of leading and innovating the real-time strategy genre through exciting and revolutionary gameplay features such as the all new Home City, eight civilizations, new weapons, armor and random maps, in addition to an exciting single-player campaign. "Age of Empires III" entices players to explore the world of North and South America during the time frame of 1500 to 1850 through breathtaking graphics, brought to life by a new engine that pushes the limits of Windows-based PC graphics technology to new levels.
- "Dungeon Siege II," Microsoft Game Studios, August 2005, Mature.* "Dungeon Siege II" has everything gamers loved in the award-winning "Dungeon Siege," with new levels of depth. "Dungeon Siege II" satisfies every itch for fans of Chris Taylor's classic action role-playing game. A compelling story, detailed graphics, rich party dynamics and a whole new level of player powers combine with straight-up monster-bashing in this masterful sequel.
- "Fable: The Lost Chapters," Microsoft Game Studios, fall 2005, rating pending.* "Fable: The Lost Chapters" brings the award-winning "Fable" experience to Windows with more quests to solve, lands to explore, creatures to defeat, and stories to discover. Players' every action determines their skills, appearance and reputation. Who will you be?
- "Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends," Microsoft Game Studios, 2006, rating pending.* Players journey to the land of Aio, a world embroiled in an epic battle between Magic and Technology. Gamers wage wars filled with mystic creatures, impossible machines and stunning acts of magic. The award-winning Conquer the World gameplay pulls gamers through a new world of heroes, monsters, loyalty and betrayal.
- "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes," Microsoft Game Studios, spring 2006, rating pending.* "Vanguard: Saga of Heroes" represents the leap to the third generation of massively multiplayer online role-playing games from the original creators of "EverQuest." Building on its many years of development expertise in this genre, Sigil Games Online Inc. will transport players to the richest and most diverse fantasy world they have ever experienced.
- "Zoo Tycoon® 2: Endangered Species," Microsoft Game Studios, fall 2005, rating pending.* "Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species" lets players care for some of the world's rarest animals, like the koala and the Komodo dragon. New transportation options let players build vehicle tours or even ride the sky trams alongside their zoo guests. "Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species" delivers a rare animal experience as players create the ultimate world-class zoo.
- "Catan Online," MSN Games, spring 2005, rating pending.* "Catan Online," the online subscription version of the award-winning "The Settlers of Catan" board game, is now available for sneak preview at MSN Games, http://www.games.msn.com. Players can claim new territories, build settlements and roads, and harvest resources in a race to settle a new land as they play against their MSN Messenger friends or challenge players from around the world.
- "Bratz," THQ, summer 2005, rating pending. After Jade gets fired from a summer internship at "Your Thing" Magazine, the "Bratz" girls decide to start their own magazine. The search for the perfect scoop takes the girls around the globe, where famous places and famous people make for an amazing adventure.
- "Half-Life 2: Lost Coast," Valve, summer 2005, Mature.* Featuring amazing digital actors, advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and physical gameplay, Valve Corp.'s "Half-Life 2" has been called the greatest game ever made and earned more than 35 Game of the Year Awards. This summer, Valve will release "Half-Life 2: Lost Coast," a new, single-player level, custom-created to introduce High-Dynamic Range lighting to the Source engine.
The Games for Windows booth is expected to feature the following games from industry partners:
- "You Are Empty," 1C Company, fourth quarter of 2005, rating pending. "You Are Empty" is a first-person action game that immerses players in an exaggerated dark and obscure atmosphere of Soviet totalitarianism. Fighting against mutants created by the Soviet super-human program, the players are tasked to figure out what happened in the city and stop the mutants from spreading further.
- "The Movies," Activision/Lionhead, summer 2005, rating pending. "The Movies," a new life-simulation game, is the only world-creating game that enables players to build and control their own movie studio, and create actual movies that can be saved and viewed anywhere. Players can be the ultimate Hollywood player and run their studio, make movies, and make or break movie stars.
- "Worms 4," Codemasters Software Company Ltd., summer 2005, rating pending. The much-loved team carnage series is back with "Worms 4: Mayhem," a new game that is as infectious and accessible as the classic "Worms" offerings. With bold levels, an improved 3-D camera and animation system, a stunning arsenal delivering comedy kabooms, the loveable, now customizable, yet entirely destructible, worms are back with a vengeance.
- "X³: Reunion," EGOSOFT, holiday 2005, rating pending. As the next generation of the X universe, "X³: Reunion" is an action-packed space simulation that brings an unmatched freedom of gameplay. "X³: Reunion" combines all the elements of life in space in a distant future and a constantly evolving universe. From military missions to a career as a pirate, smuggling and fighting, trading and building: All this is possible in the X universe. Trade, fight, build, think, "X³: Reunion" immerses the player into the most realistic, living universe ever experienced.
- "Commandos Strike Force," Eidos Inc., fall 2005, rating pending. Before the SAS ... Before the Navy Seals ... They were the Commandos, a new breed of soldier created in the darkest hours of WWII. Take on the role of being a WWII Commando in this exciting new first-person shooter. Play three different warriors -- Green Beret, Spy and Sniper -- across three campaigns through France, Norway and Russia.
- "Battlefield 2," Electronic Arts, summer 2005, Teen. Players drop right into the middle of a 21st century shootout in this revolutionary sequel to "Battlefield 1942." They can unleash the fury of a devastating modern arsenal while engaging the enemy in the world's most dangerous war zones. Gamers take charge and lead their squad or whole army to victory!
- "Sims 2: Nightlife Expansion Pack," Electronic Arts, fall 2005, rating pending. Gamers send their Sims on an epic night out; whether they're dancing until dawn, romancing that special someone, or striking out at the bowling alley, it'll be an unforgettable night for their Sims. They can let them loose to enjoy their favorite after-dark activities as they pursue a life of pleasure. Players determine Sims' love lives as they discover the chemistry between Sims. Bring on the night!
- "Hellgate: London," Flagship Studios Inc., TBD, rating pending. "Hellgate: London" combines the depth of role-playing games with the action of first-person titles, while offering infinite replayability and an individualized gaming experience through dynamically created levels, monsters, items and events. Players create a hero and then battle through innumerable hordes of demons while completing quests and advancing through experience levels and branching skill paths. A robust, flexible skill and spell system, highly customizable items and a massive variety of randomly generated equipment allow players to create a hero that is truly unique.
- "Age of Conan -- Hyborian Adventures," Funcom, holiday 2005, rating pending. "Age of Conan -- Hyborian Adventures" is an online action role-playing game with stunning graphics and 7.1-surround audio. Mixing a deep and story-driven single-player experience with a massive and brutal multiplayer end game, the game brings the ultimate representation of Conan's universe, the worlds' greatest fantasy hero.
- "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey," Funcom, holiday 2005, rating pending. "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" is an action-packed thriller set in a large and varied game world mixing gritty reality with imaginative fantasy. The game features three worlds, three distinctly different playable characters, and exciting action-adventure gameplay wrapped in a mature, exhilarating and innovative story line.
- "Star Wars Galaxies: Episode III Rage of the Wookiees," LucasArts, spring 2005, Teen/Online game play. "Star Wars Galaxies: Episode III Rage of the Wookiees" expands the "Star Wars Galaxies" universe with a wealth of new content from the movie "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith." The new content includes the Wookiee planet of Kashyyyk, creatures, vehicles and starships all making their first appearance in the movie this May.
- "Imperator," Mythic Entertainment Inc., TBD, rating pending. Imperator is a science-fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in a futuristic world where the Roman Empire never fell -- instead it grew over a few thousand years to span many colonies and planets. As the game begins, Roman citizens face a new threat from an old enemy from within and beyond the republic. More information about "Imperator" can be found at http://www.imperatoronline.com.
- "Auto Assault," NCsoft Corp., fall 2005, rating pending. Gamers wreak havoc in the post-apocalyptic world of "Auto Assault." Humans, Mutants and Biomeks battle each other for control of the world, using tricked-out vehicles as their primary weapons. The uniquely destructible world of "Auto Assault" makes it the first massively multiplayer online game that lets players destroy anything that moves -- and most things that don't!
- "City of Villains," NCsoft Corp., summer 2005, rating pending. "City of Villains," a stand-alone sequel to the critical and commercial hit "City of Heroes," allows role-playing gamers to take on criminal activities and build their own evil empires. "City of Villains" features player-versus-player action, all-new costuming options, world zones, environments and story lines in this persistent multiplayer world.
- "Phantasy Star Universe," SEGA of America Inc., summer 2005, rating pending. "Phantasy Star Universe" offers two complete RPG experiences: a single-player action adventure spanning multiple planets and a robust online multiplayer component.
- "MotoGP URT 3," THQ, summer 2005, rating pending. The "MotoGP" series is the definitive motorcycle racing game for Windows. This time, "MotoGP URT 3" is taking the franchise to the extreme, expanding beyond the realms of Grand Prix racing to incorporate high-adrenaline street racing. Players can hone their skills on the streets or progress through the Grand Prix championship.
- "Heroes of Might & Magic V," Ubisoft, February 2006, rating pending. Gamers witness the amazing evolution of the genre-defining strategy game as it becomes a groundbreaking phenomenon, melding classic deep fantasy with next-generation visuals and gameplay.
- "Myst V," Ubisoft, fall 2005, rating pending. Players decide the fate of a civilization in this triumphant final chapter to the "Myst" saga. They embark on an epic journey into the heart of a shattered empire as the only explorer who can still save it -- or destroy it with the wrong choices.
About Games for Windows
Games for Windows are built to harness the powerful technology of Windows to provide gamers with the most innovative games possible. Games for Windows utilize the performance and stability of Windows to bring seriously fun gaming to everyone. Reliability, compatibility and the freedom of customization empower gamers to create their own gaming destiny. More information is available at http://www.windowsgaming.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
- Indicates titles exclusive to the Games for Windows booth.
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